The only constant in business aviation is change. When operating Part 91 within the United States, there is no requirement for a Letter or Authorization (LOA) to fly RNAV SIDs and STARs. If your aircraft is properly equipped, the pilots have been trained, and you file the correct equipment codes on the ICAO flight plan, you can be cleared to fly these instrument procedures.
US SIDs and STARs are defined by FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 90-100A as RNAV-1 procedures. This is not the same standard as defined in International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Document 9613, Performance Based Navigation (PBN) Manual as Required Navigation Performance (RNP)-1. The main difference is that RNP-1 requires onboard navigation performance monitoring and alerting; so the US nomenclature and requirements are a bit different from what we see outside the US.
The European Union arrivals and departures use the P-RNAV and B-RNAV labels and standards. These instrument procedures are also not RNP-1; however, authorization is required by the state of aircraft registry to be able to fly these routes. That authorization for US-registered Part 91 operators is FAA LOA B034 “IFR Class I En Route Navigation Using Area Navigation Systems.”
RNP-1 is part of global airspace modernization plans broadly labeled Performance Based Navigation (PBN). Specifically, PBN is the basis for NextGEN in the US and for the Future Air Navigation System (FANS) internationally.
We are now seeing procedures designated as RNP-1 around the world. Similar to LOA B034 being required to use P-RNAV designated procedures in Europe, States with RNP-1 procedures are now requiring operators to have authorization from their state of aircraft registry. Unfortunately, LOA B034’s authorization for P-RNAV does not meet the requirement. You will need LOA C063 “Area Navigation (RNAV) and Required Navigation Performance (RNP) Terminal Operations.” Details on the requirements for issuance of the LOA are in FAA Notice N 8900.348.
Similar to issuance of any other LOA, you need the two big items – aircraft/avionics must be equipped to fly RNP-1 (check your AFM) and crews must be trained. Advanced Aircrew Academy’s RNP-1 / RNAV-1 module was developed in response to the RNP-1 training requirements of LOA C063.
The two areas of the world that are leading the RNP-1 charge are Hong Kong and Australia. The Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department (HKCAD) is now enforcing a requirement that Operators possess State Authorization (LOA) to exercise RNP-1 within the Hong Kong FIR (VHHH). Australia is also mandating State Authorization when they implement RNP-1 on May 26, 2016. To help foreign-registered aircraft operators meet the new requirements, Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is offering a two-year exemption. Check out the details of the exemption here.
The mandate for RNP-1 and other RNP standards will be expanding across the globe with the initial growth planned for the Asia-Pacific basin. It may just be easier to get LOA C063 issued from the FAA before your next trip over the Pacific.